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Local SMEs from manufacturing and services sectors are strengthening their export activities via the Export Assistance Programme (EAP), a financial assistance service provided to companies aiming to increase opportunities and demand outside the UAE for their products.
Launched in August 2010 by Dubai Export Development Corporation (EDC), an agency of the Government of Dubai's Department of Economic Development (DED), the EAP has received a huge amount of interest from UAE-based firms.
Companies admitted to benefit from the EAP so far come from sectors such as food and confectionery, business consulting, electrical and transformers and building and construction.
Participating in exhibitions is among the eligible marketing activities covered under the EAP. Newly admitted companies from the food and confectionery sectors are already participating in France's Sial Global Food Marketplace, the largest food exhibition in Europe.
"The Export Assistance Programme is a service beneficial to local companies to encourage them to undertake export promotion activities in foreign markets," said Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer, EDC.
"This service is the first of its kind in the GCC and through this initiative we are optimistic that more SMEs will be involved in seeking out and developing the export sector by exporting local goods and services."
"The EAP provides funding support for SMEs in the country looking at going global. We are encouraging companies to undertake market research, participate in exhibitions, conduct market visits and bring international buyers to the UAE with the objective of increasing exports. All these activities are covered under the EAP. Furthermore, SMEs are given the freedom to participate in any specific activities independently, falling under the four broad categories of activities covered by the EAP, where they see the potential of success and growth."
The EAP is available to SMEs that are members of EDC and have a stable operation. The application process to become EAP members has already commenced.